This past Memorial Day our group played Endeavor Age of Sail for the first time. We then got back together that evening for a second game.
It was a 4 player game and we were a little split on it. Myself and one other really enjoyed it, feeling it was an incredibly solid experience relative to the game length. Whereas the other 2 players enjoyed it...but just felt it was a good game, not a great game.
The basics of Endeavor are slowly building up a tableau, and upgrading buildings and abilities in the manner that most suits the current board state and your play style. You're taking turns colonizing the world, starting with Europe and slowly unlocking regions with additional placements. There's a constant struggle to establish what the best use of your energy is...attempting to be governor of a certain region, just getting your foot in the door, acquiring new territories or fighting for dominance in the areas that matter most....there are a lot of options and each placement is important.
The main problem with the game that we all agreed on, is that the last two rounds seem to just be playing out your strategy rather than doing much in the way of thinking. This problem does seem to have been addressed through the addition of Exploits, but that solution comes at the cost of added fiddliness, to the point that I question whether they are ultimately worth it. Time will have to tell on that count.
At the end of the day I enjoyed it enough that it's staying. As a follow up to last week's blog about Tzolkin and Food Chain Magnate, it's staying because I can't think of many other games in my collection that give me the same feeling in a similar time frame. I would say the closest comparisons I can think of are Concordia and El Grande, and while admittedly I do prefer both of those pretty strongly, Endeavor still feels different and was still enjoyable enough that for today it stays.